THE carp were certainly up on the top at The Other Pool, yesterday, and the fact that some of them were chasing each other round made me realise that mass spawning isn't far away,
or it has already started. I caught five, to low double figures, all very hard-fighting commons, and I lost two due to hook pulls. Unusually for the pool, most of the carp showed signs of slight scale damage - and so I do think they have been
spawning in the past week or so. Spawning can be a pretty violent episode for carp, and the margins are full of snags.
All of the fish were caught far out, on surface flake. Although
I saw some carp close in, I couldn't get a take from them - it had to be 40 yards or so, and thanks to my specialist surface line, I could reach them. Apart from the modern line, it was a very similar technique to the one exposed by Flt Lt Burton
in his chapter from "Confessions". He advocated flake for long distance surface bread fishing, and he was right. I use sliced white, and tear it into strips, about half an inch wide. Then I roll a strip around the hook, pinching it here
and there on the shaft of the hook and, finally, on the line just above the eye. This creates a ball of bread that flies through the air well, flies far, floats, and doesn't require dunking before the cast. I think that most people think of crust
when it comes to surface bread, but that is because Walker advocated crust for margin fishing - a very specific application.
Nash has, perhaps accidentally, invented the best
ever surface bread hook - the Fang Twister. I never use anything else these days. Before I used it, I would miss perhaps 40 % of my surface takes, now I miss, perhaps, just 20% on average. At distance, you will rarely set the hook on every surface take,
but this hook really evens up the odds I find.